turtle tagged posts

Pandemic gives breathing room to endangered sea turtles

Nikoletta Sidiropoulou and her colleagues in the Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece (Archelon) are huddled together on Marathonisi beach, carefully digging in the sand. Eventually they find what they’re looking for: a turtle nest, containing upwards of 100 eggs. “It’s really exciting,” says Sidiropoulou.

Endangered loggerhead sea turtles, or Caretta Caretta, make their main nesting spot on the Mediterranean island of Zakynthos – one of the most visited islands in Greece, with roughly 1 million yearly visitors, including many British tourists. Mass tourism has long threatened the loggerheads: tourists frequently break rules designed to keep them away from nests. But new research suggests the Covid-19 pandemic has allowed these turtles to come up for air.

The research...

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Turtles stranded on Florida beaches with mystery illness

The Brevard Zoo Sea Turtle Healing Center has taken in several sea turtles who have mysteriously washed ashore the last couple of days.

Sea turtles along the Florida coast from Jacksonville to Brevard are falling sick and wildlife experts are working hard to find out why. The turtles – primarily Green sea turtles – have been coming ashore from the ocean and lagoons in increasing numbers over the past few weeks. They’re being taken to the Brevard Zoo and to specialty turtle rehab centers around Florida, according to Shanon Gann with the Brevard Zoo Sea Turtle Healing Center. 

“There’s not one specific ailment. Most of them are stranding from the ocean and presenting with lethargy and low glucose,” she said Wednesday. “It’s not boat strikes or a parasite.” 

Dozens of sea turtles too weak to swim have been rescued from just south of Jacksonville to Brevard County over the past few weeks, she said.

Providing en...

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Turtle mum v Chinese Developers

The breathtaking Whitsundays oasis is 34km northeast of Mackay in central Queensland, it is 80% national park. A cluster of 74 tropical islands positioned smack bang in the middle of Queensland’s iconic Great Barrier Reef.

Coral reefs are the rainforests of the sea and so important to life on earth. The Whitsundays even has a natural coral reef structure in the shape of a heart.

It’s called Heart Reef

But the heart might stop beating soon.

The island of Keswick in the Whitsundays is home to green sea turtles. These beautiful creatures return to the same place each year to lay their eggs. Often it is the same place where they too hatched. Females can lay clutches of 100 – 200 eggs, laying several clutches before returning to the sea...

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New study reveals migratory habits of teenage green turtles

Researchers and conservationists who have been tracking turtle migration for over a decade believe a new study highlights the need for investment and conservation of vital marine habitats which play a key role in turtle’s formative years.

The study has found that sub-adult green turtles in the UK Overseas Territory of the Turks and Caicos Islands will stay within a Marine Protected Area (MPA) while they are growing, but as they near maturity will migrate hundreds of miles across the Caribbean to search out adult feeding grounds.

The research, conducted by the Marine Conservation Society, the University of Exeter, the Turks and Caicos Islands Government’s Department of Environment and Coastal Resources (DECR), and other partners including the Amanyara Resort, used flipper tags and sa...

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Turtles swim to uncertain future

baby loggerhead turtle making way to ocean

Freed from its eggshell by a volunteer, the tiny turtle hatchling clambers across a pebble-strewn sandy Greek beach in a race to the sea, the start of a hazardous journey that only one in 1,000 will survive. Kira Schirrmacher, 22, donning black gloves to gently ease the newborn loggerhead turtle on its way, grins at suggestions that she’s a kind of “midwife”.

“Yes, I do that all day,” says the German social sciences student, of her role.

She’s one of several volunteers monitoring the beaches of Kyparissia Bay, the Mediterranean’s largest nesting ground for the loggerhead, whose scientific name is Caretta caretta.

Tourism, and good fortune all weigh on the future of the loggerhead population, which the International Union for Conservation of Nature lists as vulnerable.

Even ...

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Endangered hawksbill turtle trade much bigger than suspected

Hawksbill turtle shell being traded

The shell of an adult hawksbill sea turtle consists of about a dozen overlapping scales colored with streaks of gold, brown, orange, and red. Hawksbills have long been hunted for their shells—the ancient Romans, for example, fashioned the scales into combs and rings.

Hawksbill scales are still being carved and polished into decorative and functional objects—tortoiseshell jewelry, trinkets, sunglasses. But the difference today is that killing hawksbills is forbidden. That’s been the case since 1977, when the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), the body that regulates cross-border trade in wildlife, assigned the hawksbill sea turtle its highest level of protection.

Meanwhile, the International Union for the Conservation of N...

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World Turtle Day

World Turtle Day logo

American Tortoise Rescue, a nonprofit organization established in 1990 for the protection of all species of tortoise and turtle, is sponsoring its 17th annual World Turtle Day® today. The day was created as an annual observance to help people celebrate and protect turtles and tortoises and their disappearing habitats around the world.

Susan Tellem and Marshall Thompson, founders of ATR, advocate humane treatment of all animals, including reptiles. Since 1990, ATR has placed about 4,000 tortoises and turtles in caring homes. ATR assists law enforcement when undersize or endangered turtles are confiscated and provides helpful information and referrals to persons with sick, neglected or abandoned turtles.

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Sea Turtles Impacted By Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

Sea turtle being scrubbed with toothbrush

Traveling sea turtles were greatly impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, researchers from the University of Miami (UM) report in a new study. When investigating the 87 day-long spill in the northern Gulf of Mexico, researchers found young turtles arriving at nesting beaches in the area from across the Atlantic Ocean likely trudged through contaminated waters.

“There is a perception that the spill’s impacts were largely contained to the northern Gulf of Mexico, because that is where the oil remained,” Nathan Putman, lead author of the recent study and researcher from UM’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, said in a news release. “However, this overlooks the movement of migratory and dispersive marine animals into the area from distant locations.”

Using ...

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